Visits: Heartfile Financing (Oct 22)

I saw four patients during my visit to the hospital today. Each one of them has a story which reflects blatant policy inattention, which undermines the core prerequisites of human security. First, there was a young woman who had attempted suicide by ingesting cheap corrosives because her sister-in-law beat her incessantly, now in the hospital with […]


Polio and Pakistan: Great Trepidations

The brutal assassination of nine grass roots level health workers in Pakistan, who were involved in a door-to-door immunization campaign in an attempt to secure children from crippling polio, adds an unprecedentedly grave dimension to the ongoing carnage in Pakistan. Pakistan’s parliament was quick in passing a unanimous resolution and there was widespread condemnation from […]


DRA: a case for hope

The bill creating a much-needed federal drug regulatory authority – Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan – was enacted into law recently. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreements have made it binding on all countries to have independent drug regulatory authorities, without which key flexibilities permissible under the Doha Declaration on Public Health cannot be availed. […]


The New Wings of Development

The concept of development, through which governments view social policy in environments where capitalism is the mode of social organization, may be up for a major rethink, globally. This year, policy signals at agenda-setting global convening and major publications seem to be heralding new directions. But in each of these, the onus of responsibility is […]


14th August: great trepidations

Great trepidations shadow Independence Day. With the country’s increasing isolation in the arena of international politics, poor state performance, and a polarized society, Pakistan survives today primarily on the resilience of its people. This is a time to reflect on where we stand in the broader global context and appreciate the nature of the imperative. […]


Pakistan’s drug deaths

The deaths of over 125 people in Lahore from contaminated drugs are a stark illustration of the inherent institutional and policy weaknesses in our health systems. Our articles and statements in the media and in other academic journals on this issue can be accessed below:       


18th constitutional amendment and health

In April 2010, the Pakistan National Assembly passed the 18th Constitutional Amendment which abolished the health ministry and devolved its portfolio to the provinces. Our articles and statements in the media and in other academic journals on this issue can be accessed below.           


Polio update

Despite massive investment and high level political commitment, Pakistan still risks being the last remaining reservoir of polio virus transmission in the world. Our articles and statements in the media and in other academic journals on this issue can be read below:     


Pakistan and Polio

At the recent meeting of heads of Commonwealth states, Australia put polio squarely on the table with a 54 million dollar promise. This adds to the existing pledges towards the disease eradication goal, which has collectively received more resources than any other global health intervention, to date. There is one problem though and Pakistan is […]


Devolving health

Pakistan’s Ministry of Health was abolished on the 30th of June and a number of federal health responsibilities were placed under the jurisdiction of seven other government ministries/divisions. The dynamics of this change and the questions emerging as a result thereof have been discussed in these columns on July 23. This comment presents an option […]